Ice (in the form of gas hydrates) is a major concern for producers and developers of oil and gas fields. Hydrates form when natural gas mixes with water at high pressure and low temperatures. These block or restrict hydrocarbon flow and impact the reliability of supply.
Traditional methods of hydrate management involve injecting large quantities of MEG, methanol or other inhibitors into the hydrocarbon stream. A more recent approach is to use tracer-heated pipelines (particularly for large subsea developments).
Due to the fear of hydrate formation, injection often becomes a strategy of over-dosing based on the worst case scenario. This costs the industry billions of dollars per year in increased CAPEX and OPEX, as well as an increased environmental footprint. Yet even with an over-dosing strategy, hydrates remain a significant and on-going risk to production.
Blue Gentoo has technology and expertise to actively manage gas hydrate risks, firstly, at planning and development stage and then in situ for the life of a field.
Gas hydrates are one of the major flow assurance challenges for the industry and are expected wherever gas meets water at high pressure and low temperature. Operators typically mitigate the risk of hydrates by continuous injection of chemical inhibitors (methanol or MEG) or by investing in tracer heated pipe for large subsea fields. These strategies are based on worst-case simulation projected over life of field and typically result in overdosing of chemicals.
Many operators are aware that their existing approach to hydrate risk is very conservative and are considering a move to a risk-based methodology. However, in order to do so, they need comfort and confidence that they can monitor, measure and manage risk throughout the production process.